Several Denver ILEA members flew to Seattle in July to soak in education, network with ILEA members from around the globe, and celebrate creativity with the presentation of the Esprit Awards, the international award of excellence in the event industry.
The first two days were dedicated to leadership education, with meetings of regional chapters, inspirational presentations by ILEA International leaders, and breakout meetings for chapter leaders focusing on programs, communication and membership. Denver chapter members Tera Greenwood, Karl Heitz CSEP DMCP, Ingrid Nagy CSEP, Dovie Lopez, Jennifer Selph, Nil Soucek and Kevin Becker CPP all participated.
The educational portion of the conference was unique. Rather than a traditional plenary session followed by breakouts, the general sessions included 15-minute “Thought Talks,” where three of the breakout speakers presented a concise, condensed version of their breakout. So participants were exposed to three times the education in a rapid-fire format. And for the most part these presentations were not given by members of the event industry, but by creative professionals in other industries, such as fashion, advertising, cinematography and even professional wrestling. The following “Deep-Dive” breakout sessions included the three “Thought-Talk” presenters, as well as a couple of other industry-specific sessions.
Off-site events provided great opportunities to network while taking in some of Seattle’s most famous attractions. From the President’s Reception at the Space Needle on Sunday night to the Opening Reception on Monday at the Seattle Art Museum Sculpture Park, to the SEARCH Foundation’s fundraiser at the Museum of History & Industry on Tuesday, participants were able to meet, greet, share ideas and experience the local scene. Vendor sponsors from across the country made each of these events memorable with amazing food, décor and entertainment.
Finally, the Esprit Awards was an amazing event that one can only describe as the Oscars of the event world. And Denver had not just one, but four nominees, for Best Catered Event (Ingrid Nagy, CSEP); Best Wedding (Karl Heitz, CSEP, DMCP); Best Event Filmmaking (Chris Orwat) and Best Photography (Kevin Becker, CPP). And we’re proud to say that both Ingrid and Karl were winners in their respective categories. Congratulations to them and to all the other Esprit Award nominees and winners!
We encourage all ILEA members to attend ILEA Live 2015 (New Orleans). It’s a great event!